Mixed martial artists can get ahead of themselves by calling out stars who are several rungs above them on the divisional ladder. Oftentimes, it's a rising star who calls out a legend that has begun to deteriorate but still has tremendous name value.
However, it's rare for any fighter to call out a hot prospect who is still on the rise and has proven to be extremely dangerous even when competing with the best fighters on the planet.
On Tuesday, Strikeforce import Tyron Woodley did exactly that by calling out fearsome ace Rory MacDonald on Sherdog Radio (h/t fighthubtv.com):
I want to fight [Rory MacDonald]. If anything happens with Carlos Condit, God forbid, or something happens with that fight, I already told Dana White. Nobody’s calling him out for a reason, because he’s freaking unreal. But if you wait, you think he’s going to stop getting better? In two years, this kid’s probably going to be one of the best fighters in the game. I’d rather knock his butt off now like I knocked off [Tarec Saffiedine's] just before he got the Strikeforce gold.
The Tristar Gym fighter has dominated some of the best fighters that the UFC can provide. Most recently, a three-round pounding against UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn illustrated exactly how lethal Rory can be without resorting to his impeccable ground-and-pound.
Woodley is a one-time title contender who made an impressive debut inside the Octagon last weekend when he knocked out Jay Hieron in only 37 seconds, although this feels like an example of one fighter biting off much more than he can chew.
Wanting to face MacDonald now as opposed to later in his career makes sense. All roads towards the title cross eventually. Why fight the guy after he has more time to develop and grow as a fighter?However, Carlos Condit is living proof of why that doesn't work.
Condit gave MacDonald the only loss of his professional career at UFC 115. The fight was the second of Rory's UFC career and it went down before the Canadian was old enough to legally consume alcohol.
Now, MacDonald has fought his way to a rematch and is incredibly motivated to leave Condit in a limp pile of bones on the canvas when the pair clash at UFC 158.
Later in the interview, Woodley discussed a potential matchup with fast-rising jiu-jitsu master Demian Maia, who also earned an impressive victory at UFC 156.
Everybody’s been Tweeting about [Demian Maia]. I don’t mind the fight. If he fights me the way he fought Fitch, then it’s not that dangerous of a fight. He just took him down and jumped on his back. I think Demian Maia’s tough. He just didn’t really impress me very much. I think if you match us up, it’s going to be a boring fight and we’re both going to get hella flak. I would rather fight [Nick] Diaz, Rory MacDonald,Condit. I would rather fight one of those guys, to be honest. They’re going to bring out the fight. They’re going to make me fight harder.
What do you think? Does Woodley really want to get into the cage with MacDonald? Or is he using the callout as a way to avoid being paired up against stylistic nightmare Demian Maia?